What’s the first thing you do when you start a new site? Pick a niche. Well my niche is ecommerce, granted it’s a little broader than what you would typically expect but the one thing that I’ve always found strange about affiliate sites is that you build the site and optimise it to attract visitors and once they get to your site your trying to push them off your site and onto the merchants. Now I’m not trying to put the boot into affiliates and I’ve made a lot of money from these sites and they help to pay a lot of peoples wages but for me when I get a visitor to my site I want to keep them there as long as possible and still make money from them. With a web shop I can do that.
A webshop is a different breed of site and to make one work there needs to be a lot going on in the back ground, things that the customer will never see. Stock control, warehousing, dispatch and staffing are all key elements to running a successful web shop. There is little difference between running a web store and running a shop, you still need to deal with useless suppliers and you will always have the problem of keeping your customers happy, but to me these are just par for the course and I have found the more of these types of sites I set up the smoother I can make the backend process.
The web is a competitive place and it seems that with a lot of the industries I’m currently in it’s just a race to the bottom on price, who can be the lowest and still make money and this isn’t something that’s going away, so we either need to differentiate ourselves from the rest of our competition, or we can lead that race to the bottom and either tighten things on the back end or shift more products. The words “box shift” springs to mind.
Now before I completely put you off ecommerce sites let’s talk about the good things and why I have spent years learning to build these into successful businesses.
Dropship is word that warms my heart it takes away a lot of the hassle with the back end and in the industries were these work best you are more or less working as an affiliate for the drop shipper, margins will be effected so just make sure you pick an industry where price isn’t necessarily the driving factor behind a sale and in time holding the stock your self will allow you to increase margins.
Now this is where there more traditional web marketing comes into play. Many people believe that building links to an ecommerce site is one of the hardest things to do and they may be right, but I see this as a good thing, if you are a better link builder then your competitor then you can beat them. If you can write better copy then your competitors you can drive more sales, in most cases this isn’t hard to do as they just copy the product description from the manufacturer’s sites. Why not get an army of affiliates to work for you, we already know what they look for in a good offer so why not give it to them and let them drive sales for you.
I think the idea of running a webshop has a stigma attached to it but there really isn’t that much to it, if you believe that you have what it takes to drive traffic to the site then you’ve got a good foundation to running a successful ecommerce store and you’ll find that everything else will fall into place after that, there is a lot of trial and error involved in the early stages of any business but this is where we learn from our mistakes and build on our successes. Well I hope there is something here that will help you make the move to ecommerce and all the great things that go with it.